Letter to Independent re tobacco industry response to smoking & impotence report

Monday 07 June 1999
ASH/ Press releases/

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The Letters Editor
The Independent

By fax:

Action on Smoking
and Health

7th June 1999

Dear Editor

John Carlisle of the Tobacco ManufacturersAssociation argues the link between smoking and impotence is old news (Letters, 7thJune).  The MORI polling for ASH was done to show that despite the well establishedlink, smokers have very low awareness of the risk.  The solution proposed by ASH andthe BMA is to place warnings on cigarette packs.

The usual stance of the tobacco industryis that adults know the risks and exercise their free choice to smoke.  Mr. Carlisleprobably knows a lot about the risks and has made his personal choice not to smoke.  But how many smokers really know there are 20 ways to die from smoking and 50 waysto become ill — of which male sexual impotence is just one?  The last thing thetobacco companies really want is for their customers to make fully informed choices.  This is why they predictably dismissed news about smoking and impotence as’scaremongering’ and ‘misleading’ — exactly the same response toevery smoking and health issue since the 1950s.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Bates


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